Today’s idea is a reflection on free will and good action. Although it does not talk about morality, it is implied in the good action provided by free will, will and reason.
Free will is a recurring theme both in philosophy and in people’s daily lives. Its concept refers to the freedom of action. Although there are theories that defend the non-existence of free will, as is the case of determinism, widely used by natural sciences, it is more common to think that we act freely.
Starting from the assumption that free will simply mean the freedom to choose, or to act, it is understood that it is not in the merit of free will to define whether the action will be good or bad, fair or unfair. Because it is free, this action can be for both good and evil; there is no certainty that the action will be good solely due to the existence of freedom of choice. There are other factors that make it possible to choose between good or evil, right or wrong, just or unfair.
Although it does not determine, this free action is the first moment, or the first step, for the possibility of doing a good deed.
What motivates you to choose to act well? Some authors indicate that to act well, it is necessary to have the will and the right intention. However, the will also allows us to act for good or for evil, according to the person’s desire. For this reason, the will must be intentional for the good.
Bernard of Claraval – or Saint Bernard of Claraval, if you prefer – says that the will is the movement of reason, and that commands the senses and appetites. He separated the word free will to give it a more obvious meaning: “free” as a will and “free will” as a reason, which really seems to make sense. If the will is bad, and the agency is conditioned to bad attitudes, the action will certainly be bad. The moral compass must be well calibrated to maintain the right intention. At the same time, the will must be disconnected from the need, as the need can instigate an unjust or bad action, depending on the nature of the need.
As seen, free will is necessary to perform good actions, but it does not define its goodness. What defines it is a combination of will, reason and moral compass, or right intention.